Following on from the mechanical design on my Tron Identity disc I jumped straight into designing the electronics to go inside. Check out how I did it!
I was walking around the mall the other day and noticed a metal plane decoration. My immediate thought was “I can make that”. So I did.. well with some slight modifications, the first being my plane was made out of wood and not metal.
I wanted the plane to be solid wood. This eliminated the use of wood 3D printing, but still left open laser cutting and CNC carving. I wanted to make the plane fluid and smooth while remaining in the capabilities of the machines i have access t. I decided that I would CNC carve the plane body and laser cut a stand for the plane. Knowing how I was going to manufacture it, I jumped straight into designing.
I googled pictures of planes until I found one that I liked the look of, and used those images for reference. I decided to create my models in Fusion360, instead of my usual solidworks, this was to improve my CAD skills and my ability to move between different software.
Modelling the plane was a interesting task. utilising a various array of tools available from the software to make the curves and various parts of the aircraft. I also had to make sure that the entire thing was manufacturable. This was a difficult task at times to make sure that I had the least amount of tool changes, the shortest cutting time and the ability to put it all together in the end.
Here is my final model, with a stand and everything
After I had modelled it all, the next task was to turn it into gcode. This would involve using the Manufacture section in Fusion. I have only played with the manufacture section, never tried to make anything with it before this, so this was definitely something new. With lots of googling I managed to produce some tool paths that I liked the look of and got them ready to post process.
Since I was using the carvey I had to make sure the tool setup and the post processing watched that machine. This was an easy step as it’s already provided by inventables, and lots of documentation available. One thing I noticed was that when producing the different tool paths for easel , you will need to export each different bit separately , rather than all of the different tool paths together.
I tried to make sure that I didn’t have to move the piece once I started milling. I was very close but only didn’t manage it as I wanted to make sure the multiple parts lined up first time.
So here is the final product. Its slightly different to the orignal models as i modified them later to make them smoother around the cockpit.
I am very happy with how it turned out, with almost every part being a press fit into it’s place. But I ended up gluing it just in case. I also applied a clear coat of lacquer to bring out the colour of the wood. I also now know how to use the carvey more, Fusion360 more and a better idea of different things could be made on different machines.
Some things I would do differently next time:
- try to use less drill bits to reduce time changing bits
- make sure the piece doesn’t move between paths
Overall I enjoyed this project. It allowed me to put my engineering skills to the test and create something for form, rather than function.
Let me know what you think and happy making!
It has been a long time since I posted last about my digital clock, but it’s finished, and here’s what it looks like.
It has been transformed from the schematics and breadboard to fully custom design circuit boards. The circuits boards have everything built onto them and only require a 9V+ DC power supply to operate.
It was a big jump having only made one PCB before making this one. I changed software and made 3D models of every part, which helped when designing the case. The case has a laser cut front panel and fully 3D printed enclosure. And of course, they all feature my little logo on them somewhere.
If I was to make a clock again I probably wouldn’t make another one out of pure logic. It’s a great thing to be able to and I proved it’s possible, but it increases the number of components and reduces the number of extras that can be added easily. In saying that, I think this would be a great project for anyone who wants to make something practical and that works but without having to program anything.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project, it was a good break from university work but allowed me to learn new things and improve my current skill set. Let me know what you think, or if you tried building on yourself!
I recently became a member of the University of Wollongong Motorsport (UOW Motorsport) team, which was a massive thing for me considering how much I like Motorsport. inside the Motorsport team I am working on building the brand new Electric vehicle (EV). This is the first year the team has decided to develop an electric race-car (EV) and I am lucky enough that I am a part of that process, which is bloody awesome in my eyes. Haven’t you ever wanted to say, “Yeah I made that”, or “Without me that might never have happened”. And to go with all of this I was also invited to represent the team at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) convention this year. IEEE is an international professional organisation that dedicates themselves to advancing technology. UOW Motorsport was invited to show off the cool stuff us student do, as well as the entire team.
The competition the team enters is F SAE or Formula Student overseas. F SAE is an international competition that started back in the 80s and only a few teams to now with around 200+ teams around the world. UOW Motorsport managed to come first in Australasia in 2016 and are presently ranked 9th in the world. Now that was an impressive statistic to keep telling people during the convention, and I was surprised myself when I heard it. Like I am now a part of a top-ranking team, how cool!
The convention was about showing off what awesome work the students had done over the years, and for the IEEE clubs, societies and companies to show off what they have done and to give tips and tricks on how to improve. Being at first year and brand new into the team made it a little harder to make the most out of the event but I still met heaps of awesome people from all over the world and made plenty of cool contacts. People from other universities loved to come over and find out about the project as well as show off what some of their students have done too. This is one awesome way to connect with like-minded people and network with industry professionals.
The weekend was more than just the convention though as afterwards I could meet up with friends I hadn’t seen in ages and bond with some of my team mates. It was awesome being able to eat a full big meal, while bantering with new friends. It is also a great feeling when you are hungry and the waiter brings over a massive plate with a schnitzel that covered the plate completely, and huge Haus made pretzels from the Bavarian Cafe. I enjoyed the entire experience and would totally recommend, especially if you enjoy having a 2+ litre beer tower or a glass the size of your head. But overall, I have an awesome time and can’t wait for the next event I get invited to 😀
For more information on what UOW Motorsport does check out our website and follow us on social media to see how we go at comp this year, and see if the electric car I worked on makes it. (http://www.uowmotorsport.com/)